Why should I bring a plumbing apprentice onboard?

July 31, 2019

Next month, young people across the country will receive their exam results and begin to think about entering the world of work. For some students this will mean considering an apprenticeship, especially as university fees continue to rise. If you run a plumbing firm, bringing an apprentice on-board can make a huge difference. In this blog, we take a look at these benefits in more detail.

Expand your operations, but keep costs down

Sometimes plumbing jobs can feel a bit like London buses, you wait all day for one and then two come along at once. Nobody wants to turn jobs down but bringing in another body to help can be quite expensive. In these circumstances, bringing an apprentice on-board can be the most cost-effective approach.

Taking on an apprentice is a flexible form of staffing and allows firms to take on more work and keep cashflow moving. Thanks to a number of ‘apprentice matching’ programs, it’s never been easier for firms to bring an apprentice on-board and positively react to upturns in the market. This form of service helps to connect registered training providers with employers. It allows firms to search for apprenticeship training by job role or keyword. What’s more, the service lets you post vacancies and manage any applications that you receive.

Boost productivity

Declining productivity rates aren’t a problem only affecting the plumbing sector, in fact, it’s one of the biggest problems facing the broader construction sector. Many firms feel powerless about it, but there are potential solutions. For example, bringing an apprentice on board has been shown to help drive productivity. A survey by the National Apprenticeship Service found that 68% of companies in the UK reported improved productivity after taking on an apprentice. This could be because apprentices bring new energy to firms. On the whole, apprentices tend to be young, so they can help inject vibrancy into your company.

How do I hire an apprentice?

If you feel that an apprentice would benefit your business, then the good news is there’s never been a better time to hire one. A great place to begin is on the GOV.uk website, which contains a number of handy tools designed to make navigating the apprenticeship process as easy as possible. The website’s ‘recruit an apprentice’ service will help you locate potential apprentices in your area, whilst standard apprenticeship agreements templates can also be downloaded.

Skilled tradespeople get your business started

You’ll also be able to find out about what’s required from your side, including ensuring that the role you’re offering is worthwhile and that it complies with the national minimum wage. According to GOV.UK, the minimum duration of apprenticeship should be 30 paid hours a week, or more. If you’re able to fulfil this criteria, there are still a number of terms you should meet:

• Provide your apprentice a contract of employment, which is long enough to allow them to complete their apprenticeship successfully.

• Pay your apprentice a wage that’s at least the national minimum wage consistent with the law, or the field they work in.

• Provide your apprentice a job role which helps them gain knowledge, skills and behaviours that will help them achieve their apprenticeship.

• Allow the apprentice to combine learning in the workplace with formal off-the-job training.

As well as all this information, the GOV.uk website is a great place to discover more about apprenticeships. You can learn more about your funding options and find out how much you’ll be required to pay for your apprentice’s training and assessment. If you want to find more about the process behind hiring an apprentice, please read our recent blog here.

Everybody remembers what it’s like trying to get your start in the plumbing sector. Without a friend or family in the business it can be hard to get your foot in the door, but apprenticeships help make it more achievable. By employing an apprentice, not only are you bringing a number of benefits into your business, but also helping up-and-coming plumbers to get their first break. We hope that by following the steps set out in this blog firms take the plunge and bring a talented young person into their ranks.

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